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Cowboy Caviar!


I don’t eat beans. I think I’ve only used beans in, oh wait, I’ve never used beans! Maybe I’ve eaten soybeans or green beans, but that’s it. I never grew up with canned beans so I never think to buy them. 

Then I tried something called Cowboy Caviar. Think of it as a bean salsa. It’s one of those things you don’t really picture and start salivating over (OK, I don’t) but once you take a bite you can’t seem to stop. This recipe makes an enormous batch, btw. I wouldn’t say this was 8 servings, like the website I adapted this recipe from says. To me it’s more like 20 servings. I’m guessing the whole thing weighed 8-9 pounds. This recipes was adapted from allrecipes.com, but with a few modifications and suggestions. 

Cowboy Caviar (adapted from allrecipes.com) 

printable recipe 


  • 15 oz. can black beans, drained
  • 15 oz. can black-eyed peas, drained
  • 3 small tomatoes, chopped and drained
  • 2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pickled jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup Italian salad dressing*
  • 3/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 lime, juiced

*Homemade Italian dressing: 

  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp. white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 Tbsp. dried (or fresh) parsley
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2/3 cup olive oil



1) Mix everything together. Cool in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes before serving. Serve with tortilla chips. Enjoy! 


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Even though the recipe called for onion, I totally forgot to add the onion to mine. Doh! Next time…. 

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If you buy packages of frozen corn, they might come in sizes of 2/3 cup for each package. I ignored this and just used 2 packages. I’m not really concerned with exact measurements… 

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You can also use canned tomatoes for this too, but I just happened to have fresh tomatoes on hand. 


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I’m not a huge fan of green peppers, so instead of skipping them entirely, I minced them really fine. That way I get the essence of peppers without having to chew large chunks of them. I don’t want to be one of those people who goes through life avoiding most things because of an ingredient here or there. 

Did you know I hate bananas too? But I still use them in recipes to get myself used to the taste of them. 

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For some reason the minute I smell cilantro I think of Vietnamese food. I have never used cilantro for anything else other than Vietnamese food. It added that special touch to this recipe though. 


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I only went through the trouble of making my own Italian dressing because I didn’t have a bottle on hand, and I had a bunch of fresh parsley I needed to use. 



To explain how good this was, my husband and I ate it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and as a snack for the whole weekend. We polished it off last night. 



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